Monday, October 31, 2011

A Scary Halloween Story...

Artwork courtesy of The Vintage Cottage
… At least if you're five or six.

Like most little tykes, we had a parent accompany us around the neighborhood on Halloween. It usually was my mother. This particular year the last house we visited was that of our neighbors, the Cranes, where we performed our annual "Trick or Treat" ritual. We always had to do a trick (like sing a song) for Mrs. Crane then she would give us our treat. We were heading up the street to our house, and were passing the vacant lot between the Crane’s and our home. Of course it was very dark. The vacant lot was full of lots of tall bushes and small stand of alder trees. It was particularly spooky looking on a night like Halloween. I was happily dancing along in front of my mother swinging my bag of Halloween candy, when I noticed this white blob in front of the alder trees that wasn’t normally there. Then started to move! Of course, I hightailed it back to my mom and hid behind her because now the white blob was moving towards us. And it was making these high-pitched ghostlike noises. Yeah, I was scared. Real scared.

All of a sudden from under the white blob emerged my dad laughing his head off. It was one of his practical jokes. He had taken a white shower curtain from the house and used it as his "ghost costume." I eventually recovered from my fright and we all had a good laugh. To this day every year on Halloween I fondly think of my dad and his ghost costume.

Have a safe and maybe a little scary Halloween.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Monday, October 24, 2011

PE - Worst School Subject - Or Worst Teachers

For the most part I liked school and the subjects I studied. I don't particularly remember having a favorite subject but there was one I couldn't stand – PE. It had more to do with the teachers I had in elementary and junior high school than the subject.

Our elementary school PE teacher, Mr. Galbraith, probably was ex-military because he sure taught PE like we were in the military. Everybody had their assigned spot in the gym where we did our calisthenics: jumping jacks, push-ups, sit-ups, etc. Mr. Galbraith would walk around like a drill sergeant counting out jumping jacks and making sure everyone stayed in their spot. Sheesh.  

On the positive side, every once in a while he would get out the big giant parachute. I always thought that was fun standing around the edges of the parachute, going in a circle, making it wave, throwing it up while still holding the edges and everybody would go underneath the parachute while pulling it down over us. The other activity I did enjoy was rope climing. I can remember reaching the top of that rope for the first time and feeling a real sense of accomplishment. I also remember getting rope burn sometimes if I slid down too fast.

Then in junior high school, we had Mrs. Watts. She was worse. Her grade was based on athletic ability and she would walk around while we would do our calisthenics with her grade book marking down whatever it was that she marked in it. Part of our grade was taking athletic tests such as how many baskets you made out of ten. What really made me mad about that was the “star” athletes of the school would take the tests, do well, but cut class all the time. Mrs. Watts didn’t seem to mind it because she still gave those girls As on their report cards, while the rest of us….well you can guess.

Showers were mandatory at the end class and there was Mrs. Watts standing next to the showers with her grade book making sure that we all took our showers. If you didn’t get wet enough, she would send you back to shower some more. Good grief!

I remember having PE for the first period of the day and we would have to go out and run the track. Often times it would be drizzling or foggy and always miserable; particularly since I hate to run.

Then the worst thing happened for eighth grade; I had to have Mrs. Watts again! However, shortly after the school year started, she had to take an extended leave of absence. Her misfortune was our gain because the substitute was awesome! She made PE fun and graded us on our effort. She didn't emphasize showers. From then on PE was fun and I enjoyed the other PE teachers I had the rest of my school career as well.

Amy Coffin's series, 52 Weeks of Personal Genealogy & History is a series of blogging prompts that "invite genealogists and others to record memories and insights about their own lives for future descendants."

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Another Baby Doll is Looking for a Name

Today I would like to introduce you to the other Baby Doll I pulled out of a box from the Family Home...only I can't because I don't remember her name! Maybe you do? If so please le me know. Clue: I believe the tricycle and horsie also belong to her.  
Related Posts:
© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Flowers & Butterflies on Wordless Wednesday

On our recent visit to the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster Colorado, not only was there a wide variety of butterflies but also exotic flowers to feed the butterflies.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Solving a Problem - Outlook 2007

The road one travels in setting up a new laptop always has a few bumps in it. Last summer I had to travel this road again when my old laptop began having major issues. The biggest pothole I encountered was in getting my Outlook 2007 files transferred.

The features I use in Outlook are: calendar, task list, and contacts. I do not use Outlook for email. As it turns out, Microsoft creates several data files for Outlook and stores them in a couple of different places. It took quite a bit of research and some trial and error to get all the important Outlook configurations and data transferred over and set up. In the end it was pretty easy but the road to that point was a rocky one.

If you ever need to do this, here are some steps you can try. It worked for me. I’m not saying it’s the best or only way, it just worked. These instructions worked for Windows 7. You might have to do things a little differently if you are using a previous version of Windows. Microsoft has several help articles you might find helpful. One in particular was indispensible in solving my issues.

First you will need to be able to see “hidden” folders:

1.     In Windows, click the Start button, and then click Control Panel.

2.     Click Appearance and Personalization.

·        NOTE:  If you are using Control Panel Classic View, double-click Folder Options, and then continue with step 4.

3.     Click Folder Options.

4.  On the View tab, under Advanced settings, under Files and Folders, under Hidden files and folders, select Show hidden files and folders.

Next you need to find the different types of files:

Note: drive and user will vary from computer to computer and situation to situation. 

Personal Folders File (.pst): Contains emails, calendars, contacts, tasks, and notes. Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook 

Command Bar and Menu Customizations (.dat):
Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook\outcmd.dat 

Navigation Pane Settings (.xml): Includes shortcuts, Calendar and Contact links.
Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Outlook\profile name.xml

Outlook Contacts AutoComplete (.nk2): AutoComplete is a feature which displays suggestions for names and e-mail addresses as you begin to type them. These
suggestions are possible matches from a list of names and e-mail addresses that you have typed before, known as the AutoComplete name list. (It’s not something I seem to have at this time, but then you never know about later on…)

Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Print Styles (Outlprnt with no extension):  
Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Outlook

Signatures (.rtf, .txt, .htm): I don’t seem to have any of these files at this time but again, you never know what might happen down the road.
Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Signatures

Stationery (.htm):
Location: drive:\Program Files\Common Files\Microsoft Shared\Stationery

Custom Forms:
Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Forms
I don’t seem to have this.

Dictionary (.dic)
Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\UProof

Templates (.oft)
Location: drive:\Users\user\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Templates

I’m not sure how you would use templates in Outlook but I notice that the Word templates that I have created are in this file.

There we have it. A nice list of where to look for some of the Outlook files. Hopefully this will make the road much smoother the next time we find ourselves needing to transfer the various files related to Outlook. At least now I know where to look online for help and the keywords to use (outlook 2007 files configurations save). I hope this helps you too!

This post was written for #31WBGB: Solve a Problem.

© 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Next Steps in the Archival Closet on Sorting Saturday

Last week I shared progress that has been made with the Archival Closet. This week I'd like to share with you the next step taken over the summer. There were still many boxes of documents in the Family Home that had to be removed and sorted through when we put the house on the market. Here was my crash course procedure. The objective was twofold:
  1. Reduce the volume of documents, cards and photos.
  2. Get a basic organizational scheme going so that I could merge the additions into the collection I already have at home.
My hope is that if you are dealing with boxes and boxes a large collection of family papers, photos, and other heirlooms, this will in some way be of assistance to you.

    Step One - Supplies - whatever was on hand from the house: old file folders, boxes, folder trays, etc. I did not worry about archival quality at this point.

    Step Two - One box at a time, quickly examine each folder, envelope full of papers or whatever. Keep or discard? Try really, really hard not to get sucked into reminiscing at this point. It's hard...

    Step Three - If the item is a keeper, which family member(s) does it relate to?

    Step Four - If there isn't a box, or portion of a box already dedicated to this individual, set one up.

    Step Five - What is the topic of these documents? Get a file folder, if the documents aren't already in one, and put a label on the folder with the topic. At this point, since I'm using mostly old file folders, I either would write directly on the tab of the folder or write on a sticky note and attach that to the folder tab.

    Step Six - File the item in the appropriate person's box.

    After a while, I started running across documents for which I already had a folder. So into the folder the new documents went.

    Box after box went through this process and after a while, the volume began to decrease since not everything was worth keeping, and a very rudimentary organizational scheme began to emerge.

    Here is one of the boxes that hasn't yet made it home. No, it's not pretty. Everything most certainly will not be kept but in order to determine what to ultimately save we have to get "like things together" to see the big picture.

    The next step is to incorporate these files into the Archival Closet using archival safe - acid free, lignin free supplies - and continuing to cull as I sort. There is a deadline too: Thanksgiving. You see all these boxes are being stored in Oldest Daughter's room. They have got to be cleared out before said daughter comes home for Thanksgiving!

    © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, October 12, 2011

    Butterflies Everywhere - Wordless Wednesday

    This past weekend, while visiting the Denver area, we stopped into the Butterfly Pavilion in Westminster. It was our second visit and we had just as much fun as the first time. It's a great place to spend a couple of hours whether you are a little kid or a big kid.

    The butterflies were posing for us this time so we had lots of fun snapping the shutter.

    In addition to the butterflies and beautiful flowers, there is also a room that I will call the bug and spider room. There are bugs and spiders of every imaginable shape and size from all over the world. I didn't take many pictures in that room. Ick.

    In this picture on the right there are 3 butterflies. Can you see all three? The large one, bottom center, is an Atlas butterfly.

    This was one of my favorites because of all the different colors.

    I love their little faces. This is a close up of another Atlas that one of the volunteers was carrying around on a stick for visitors to see close up. I have no idea how they got this butterfly to stay on that stick!

    © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Saturday, October 8, 2011

    Progress on the Archival Closet on Sorting Saturday

    Last spring I did some organizing in the Archival Closet. You can do this too! Basically, I was trying to get the beginnings of an organizational scheme going and remove the collection from those ancient, nasty cardboard boxes they had been living in for the past several decades. For the most part, I used archival quality (acid free, lignin free) materials: boxes, file folders and file folder inserts. However, I did run out of boxes so I had to improvise temporarily.

    Here are before and after pictures:

    It's not perfect but it's a start and I am actually able to find some things now. The process of sorting and organizing also caused a number of very cool discoveries.

    In order to be flexible (after all this is an evolving system), I used a lot of post it notes to indicate what is inside each box and also to note if there are items in need of triage. This way, as I add more material, it will be easy to rearrange the labels.

    Here's a peek at the inside. My mantra has been "put like things together." I say that over and over and over. As more materials surface, that's what I do. Eventually, I will be able to do a better job of labeling after all of the like things are together and do a final sort.

    The labels are not neat and orderly since this is an evolving system. The file folders and folder inserts are archival quality. The post it notes and card stock are not but for now they give the flexibility I need to add to the collection.

    So, progress is being made! While the Family Papers are not in a completely perfect situation, they are in a much better way than they were a few months ago. The Archival Closet is the perfect place to store the collection as it is an interior closet, dark and in a room that actually stays at a pretty constant (and pleasant) temperature year round. Not perfect but certainly much improved.

    Next up is the process of integrating the new additions to the collection.

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Can You Identify this Baby Doll?

    While going through unopened boxes from The Family Home recently, I ran across a couple of my baby dolls. This little gal had a thimble that is really a magnet you can use to open and close her eyes. As I recall, she also "drinks" from a bottle and then a few minutes later pees her pants. For the life of me, I can't remember her name. If she looks familiar to you, please let me know!

    Related Posts:
    © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Wednesday, October 5, 2011

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011

    Stepping into the Next Generation

    Recently I wrote about my quest for and purchase of a smart phone. These past few weeks since purchasing the Android Bionic, I feel like I have stepped straight onto the starship Enterprise. Captain Picard, beam me up! This little futuristic device is changing my genealogy life and I would like to share with you how.

    First, my absolute favorite feature on the Android Bionic is (you are not going to believe this - well maybe you will), the microphone dictation option that appears whenever the little keyboard pops up. Instead of typing out a text message, blog post, blog reply, or anything else that normally requires typing on that tiny screen, you can select the microphone and dictate your message a little bit at a time. Honestly, I giggle every single time I use this feature, which is a lot. For me, it's a huge time saver. You can also edit pretty easily if something doesn't come out just right.

    Second, here is a list of the Apps I installed and began using just as soon as I had taken the little Verizon training class, which by the way, was incredibly helpful:
    1. Google Reader: This is the most used feature on my phone. In fact, I actually prefer to do most of my blog reading this way now. It seems like I can identify the most interesting posts faster and then read and respond to them (using that little microphone feature of course). The only drawback is articles containing hyperlinks that I would like to bookmark (I still use Internet Explorer for this). I'm feeling pressure to get that Genealogy Toolbox set up so hyperlinks can be accessed from whatever device I'm using.
    2. Evernote: I love having access to my notes anywhere and being able to add them directly into Evernote on the fly.
    3. Dropbox: Now I have instant access to most of my genealogy files. Also, I discovered that after taking a photograph on the Android, I can put it in Dropbox for later drag and drop transfer to the photos folder on the main computer.
    4. Blogger: I haven't used this one much yet other than for posting comments. I am looking forward to being able to create some blog posts using this app.
    5. Adobe Reader: Pretty self explanatory.
    6. The Weather Channel: Besides everyday uses, there's no more worries over how to prepare for weather when visiting that cemetery.
    7. Facebook:  I think this one is pretty self explanatory :)
    Some highly used apps that came on my Android that have or will come in handy for family history endeavors:
    1. Gmail: Since just starting the ProGen program, all of the ProGen related emails have been read and dealt with quickly wherever I may be. Any of the attachments can be saved directly to my ProGen folder on Dropbox. How's that for organized?
    2. Browser and Map: I probably don't need to elaborate too much on these other than to say I'm really happy to have them.
    3. Quick Office: This app has Quickword (the equivalent of Word), Quicksheet (Excel), Quickpoint (Power Point) and Quick PDF. I haven't had too much of an opportunity to make use of any of these other than Quickword (briefly) so I'll write about how I use them for genealogy some other time. But with Dropbox, I envision anything I create using Quick Office can be saved to Dropbox and synced with my other devices. No more forgetting which device that document is stored on.
    I'll be writing more in the future on my family history related experiences using the Android. I'm curious, how do you use your smart phone (Android, iphone, etc.) to help with your family history and genealogical endeavors? What are some of your favorite apps?

    Disclaimer: I was not asked to write about or paid or given anything by any of the companies mentioned in this article. These products I use and either pay for with my hard earned money or use a free version.

    Artwork by ~d-gREg
    © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    A Look at a Cash Entry Land File - The Summary

    It's time to wrap up our look at William H. Ballinger's land file in Boulder, Colorado Territory, and this series, after several interuptions called Life. What I originally ordered from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was a Cash Entry file. What I got was a pre-emption file which was a pleasant surprise.

    Quick overview: From Part 1 and Part 4, files relating to cash sales of land by the federal government are often said to contain little information. However, please remember when ordering land files from The National Archives and Records Administration, several types of land entry case files are lumped together under Cash Entry.

    For instance, the entryman may have begun the process of filing for a Homestead, then decided to pay for the land outright, rather than meeting the residency and other requirements for a homestead. Any paperwork created to that point will be in the case file.

    Another example is that of the pre-emption file which is consistent with William's case. From
    The act of 1841 permitted settlers to stake a claim of 160 acres (65 hectares) and after about 14 months of residence to purchase it from the government for as little as $1.25 an acre before it was offered for public sale.
    (For an excellent explanation of pre-emption files, check out Dibs on Pre-emption and Private Land Claims from Susan's Genealogy Blog.)

    These are reasons for going ahead and ordering those cash entry files, even though a true one probably doesn't contain much information (see Part 2).

    Summary of William Ballinger's pre-emption file:

    1. Using the legal description, in Part 5, we were able to map the property and physically visit the area, which is not far from the town of Boulder, to see what it is like today.
    2. In Part 7, we discovered an oath William H. Ballenger signed himself. This is important because when I compare the signature from this document to the signature in the Military Bounty Land Warrant File in Mahaska County, Iowa (from the series Using Land Records to Solve Genealogical Problems), there is no doubt in my mind that this is the same individual. Also, examining the composition of this family in the 1856 Mahaska County Iowa census further confirms this.
    3. The statement made by Calvin W. Ward in Part 8, showed us that William settled the property 5 December 1864 and built a 15 X 20 foot home (which is approximately the size of 2 large horse stalls). Not very large for a family of 8 with more children to come.

    From the various documents in William's pre-emption file we can compile a simple timeline to incorporate into his overall timeline.
    • 5 December 1864 - William settled on his land and built a 15 x 20 foot home.
    • 3 April 1865 - William paid $200 for the 160 acres he settled on.
    • 1 December 1865 - The patent was issued.
    • 12 November 1892 - The patent was recorded with the Boulder County Recorder's Office.  No this is not a typo. The patent really was recorded in 1892! I obtained a copy of it from the Boulder County Recorder. Note: Back in Part 3 there was a notation on the right hand side of the cover sheet, "E. J. Moratti Oct. 18/92. M.I.G." I'm not sure what that meant but there was something going on with this property decades after the patent was issued.

    As always there are questions that come up in our research. They never seem to end, do they?
    1. Why was the patent recorded with the Boulder County Recorder 27 years after it was issued?
    2. Who is Calvin Ward? What sort of relationship does he have to William Ballinger? When and under what circumstances did he meet William Ballinger? These questions caused me to place Calvin on my Persons of Interest List relative to William Ballinger.
    3. Why did William sell part of his property to Calvin in August of 1865?
    Wait, what?? Question number 3 wasn't in the case file!! This was a discovery made during my research in the Boulder County Recorder's Office. There was a lawsuit filed too. There definitely was something going on with this property.

    I'm just beginning to sort through this and more research will be required in the court records (if they still exist). So we will eventually return to this story.

    For now remember the main point of this series (besides seeing what documents can be found in the various land entry case files): when it comes to Cash Entry files, you don't know what you are going to get until you see the case file. It could be a Cash Entry file, or a Homestead file (cut short because the entryman went ahead and purchased the land), or  pre-emption file. They all contain differing but valuable information.

    • William H. Ballinger (Boulder County) cash entry (pre-emption) file, certificate no. 244, Denver City, Colorado Territory, Land Office; Land Entry Papers, 1800-1908; Records of the Bureau of Land Management, Record Group 49; National Archives, Washington D.C.
    • Boulder County, Colorado, Book 59: Pages 406-407, United States to William H. Ballinger, patent, 12 November 1892; Boulder County Recorder, Boulder
    • Boulder County, Colorado Territory, Book D: Pages 104-105, William H. and Lucinda Ballinger to Calvin Ward, Warranty Deed, 5 August 1865; Boulder County Recorder, Boulder.

    • Hone, E. Wade. Land & Property Research in the United States. Salt Lake City, UT: Ancestry, 1997. Print.
    • Bettag, Claire. Land Entry Papers: Federal Land Records at the National Archives. Handout from the National Archives 7th Annual Genealogy Fair held April 20 and 21, 2011. There is a link on this page for the handout.
    • Hawkins, Kenneth. Research in the Land Entry Files of the General Land Office.Washington, DC: National Archives and Records Administration. 2009. Downloadable from NARA.
    Previous Installations:
    Part 1
    Part 2
    Part 3
    Part 4
    Part 5
    Part 6
    Part 7
    Part 8
    Part 9

    To cite this post:

    Michelle Goodrum, “A Look at a Cash Entry Land File - The Summary.” Michelle Goodrum, The Turning of Generations, 3 October 2011 : access date DD Month YYYY), para. XX.

    Artwork compliments of Free Clip Art Now

    © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    I Have a Favor to Ask...

    Recently I made some changes to this blog that may have affected the ability to comment. Could a couple of my dear readers leave a comment so I can see if I have been successful in fixing the issue?


    © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

    Saturday, October 1, 2011

    Changes to Turning of Generations

    As part of this week's #31WBGS assignment, Update a Key Page, you might notice several changes to the home page. I'm not going to list them all but changes that will hopefully make it easier to subscribe, share and comment (and promote your own posts) include:

    • Facebook, Tweet and Google+ sharing in the sidebar.
    • An option to follow by email.
    • Rearranging of the sidebar to hopefully make it easier/more obvious how to follow, subscribe and share.
    • Comment Luv, Facebook share and Google Buzz This options in the comments (if I did everything correctly, which I am not certain I did).
    Updates were also made to About and Societies & Organizations.

      © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum

      2011 Genealogy Resolutions - Third Quarter Update

      Photo by Pascal Blachier
      used under the creative commons license.
      The third quarter of 2011 has ended and it's time for a review of my genealogy resolutions to see how well I am balancing my goals for the year.

      Research Goal:

      Find and prove the identity of the parents of my gg grandfather, William H. Ballinger, who was living with his wife Lucinda and their children in Black Oak, Mahaska County, Iowa in 1856.
      • I am still looking at land records in Mahaska County, Iowa and now Boulder, Colorado.
      • I had hoped to put together a notebook with documentation and research notes/reports for this project by now. That has become the goal for between now and the end of the year.
      • Then I need to analyze what I have and come up with a continuing research plan.
      This project is a bugger but who ever said genealogical research was easy?

      Organizational Goal:

      When I gave my last report, I said I felt I had accomplished my goal of organizing the Archival Closet. It's a good thing because we brought home a carload of additions after getting Youngest Child settled in at college! An Archival Room is looking more and more probable.

      Writing Goal:

      Put together a "draft" of the story of Mrs. Robinson's Homestead to share with family members.

      I still haven't scanned the homestead file, which is my first step. There's still time.

      Diana over at Random Relatives recently wrote a post that was inspired by Lisa Alzo's talk Write Your Family History Step by Step. Diana selected an ancestor to write about for 15 minutes every day. She even has a separate tab on her blog titled, 15 Minutes A Day. This might be a good approach for my project.

      In Summary:

      Organizational Goal – Still accomplished but as always, there's more to be done.
      Research Goal – Plugging along.
      Writing Goal – Need to get cracking on this one and show some progress.

      There are three months left in 2011. We'll see how much progress I can make.

      To check on prior progress:

      © 2011, copyright Michelle Goodrum